A novel method to selectively lesion preganglionic sympathetic neurones has been combined with immunohisto-chemistry to study the expression of peptides in the rat superior cervical ganglion (SCG). Thus, systemic administration of monoclonal antibodies against acteylcholineste- rase (AChE) caused a marked reduction in the number of enkephalin (ENK)-positive fibres and a total disappearance of fibres immunoreactive for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and AChE in the SCG. A marked increase in the number of galanin/galanin message-associated peptide (GAL/GMAP)-immunoreactive cell bodies was also observed. The present results indicate that probably all CGRP and most ENK containing fibres in the rat SCG are of preganglionic origin and that peptides not normally expressed in SCG neurones, e.g. GAL and GMAP, can be upregulated after deafferentation.
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Galanin message-associated peptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas